Holton hospital feeling strain of COVID-19

Holton Community Hospital providers and staff members continue to feel the strain of COVID-19 here, says Carrie Saia, HCH CEO. And the strain is exhausting.

“Our frontline workers who are trying to provide care, whether that’s in the clinic or hospital or lab, are seeing that people are less appreciative. Everyone is just done with this pandemic, and they’re a little more on the demanding side,” Saia said.

The sustained strain on health care workers for almost two years has resulted in “burnout and exhaustion,” Saia said.

“Nurses are leaving health care entirely. There are critical shortages of nurses in every facility, and those that remain are overworked and managing a much higher volume of patients and sicker patients,” she said. “We’ve seen some of our staff frustrated and at their wit’s end.”

There are currently 84 active COVID-19 cases in the county, and, so far, the new Omicron variant has not been identified here, according to Ty Compton, acting director of the Jackson County Health Department. 

“The (amount of) testing we’re doing in our lab is just crazy,” Saia said. “We just started it a year ago for COVID. Last November, we did 44 COVID PCR tests in house. This November, we did 408.”

Saia said she recently submitted a request to the federal government for home COVID-19 tests to give away for free at the hospital’s clinic. 

“That is something new, but there’s reporting and requirements that go along with that. I don’t know how many we’ll receive,” she said. “Those home tests are hard to find and are expensive.” 

Saia said there is a shortage of hospital beds available across the country for all patients. 

“Someone who may be experiencing signs or symptoms of a stroke needs treatments and therapies provided in a rapid fashion,” Saia said. “If a facility nearby that provides those treatments is not accepting patients, a patient’s outcome can be dramatically different.”

Instead of transferring patients to Topeka, Saia said that HCH is routinely transferring patients to Kansas City or Wichita.

(For more on this story, please log in to your holtonrecorder.net account and select the Dec. 22, 2021 edition under “E-Editions.”)

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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